Ida Larsson works in the Orbital Launch and Rocket Test team, developing and building the new Spaceport Esrange.
Why did you start working for SSC?
I have a master’s degree in aeronautical/aerospace engineering and have always been very fascinated with aircraft and rockets. I remember looking at the SSC website thinking “they are doing some very cool stuff”.
What did you do in your previous work at SSC and what are you doing today?
When I first joined SSC I worked as a Solution Architect in the Satellite Management Services division. It was a technical role in the sense of putting together solutions for satellite communication, but also a business role since the goal was to deliver attractive service offers to various space agencies and companies. Interacting with customers and understanding their needs are important aspects and a useful experience no matter what role you might have in the future.
Today I work as a Flight Safety Engineer in a team called Orbital Launch and Rocket Test, within the Science Services division. We are developing and building the new Spaceport at Esrange Space Center, where we will launch satellites into orbit and perform reusability testing. We also have a number of test sites where we perform static tests for rocket engines. It is very exciting to be a part of this team since we are developing a new service and everyone is very passionate about what we are aiming to achieve.
My primary role is to perform flight analyses to identify and mitigate risk to the public when launching a rocket. During the future orbital launch operations, I will be responsible for monitoring the safety of the flight and terminating the flight if deemed necessary.
What makes you passionate about your work?
I am on this innovative journey together with my team and get to work with the things that I am interested in.
A lot of exciting stuff is happening in the space industry right now. Spaceports are being built in Europe, thousands of satellites will be launched in the coming years, and lots of discussions and developments are taking place regarding Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and Space Traffic Management (STM). It is an exciting time to be working in the space sector
How would you describe SSC as an employer?
I think that SSC is very good at encouraging and offers the possibility to change position within the company. I also think SSC is good at utilizing people’s work experience and let them use it in a good way. I am very excited about airplanes so I get to be involved in business discussions with customers wanting to test their aircraft at Esrange. I also get to use my previous work experience within Air Traffic Management (ATM) at SSC, being involved in EU discussions about STM/ATM.
What do you want to say to women who want to work in the space industry?
As a female engineer I strongly encourage women to pursue an education and career within Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). There is so much interesting and useful work to be done and it is important that women play an active role in these fields. I think having a diverse workforce is important to be able to achieve challenging goals, no matter what industry you are working in. Working in the space industry is much fun and cool. At the same time you need to put in a lot of hard work. If you are a student, an excellent way to get a “foot in the door” is by applying for an internship, graduate program, or master thesis.
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